Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Books Read in 2014

After reading several bloggers' lists of books read in 2014, I decided to add my list.  Since most of my reading is done on my iPad with the Kindle app, it was easy to reconstruct the list.  Also, in 2014 I finally learned to use the Overdrive app to borrow e-books from our local library.  Easy, and best of all, free!

Here's my list.  You'll notice that when I find an author I like, I read as many of his/hers as I can get my hands on!  The titles in blue text were probably my favorites last year.  Which of these books have you read and liked/disliked? 


Simple Genius (King & Maxwell) David Baldacci
First Family (King & Maxwell) David Baldacci
Two Mrs. Abbotts (Miss Buncle) D.E. Stevenson
Six Years Harlen Coben
Still Life with Bread Crumbs Anna Quindlen
Why Shoot a Butler? Georgette Heyer
Bruno, Chief of Police Martin Walker
The House on First Street Julia Reed
Death of an Old Git (Falconer Files 1) Andrea Frazer
The Wives of Los Alamos TaraShea Nesbit
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey Wendy Wax
The Back Door Man Dave Buschi
Ten Beach Road Wendy Wax
Ocean Beach Wendy Wax
Magnolia Wednesdays Wendy Wax
Christmas at the Beach Wendy Wax
The Dressmaker Kate Alcott
Circle of Three Patricia Gaffney
The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles) Tess Gerritsen
Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles) Tess Gerritsen
Presumed Guilty Tess Gerritsen
The Silent Girl Tess Gerritsen
Absolute Power David Baldacci
The Camel Club David Baldacci
Ten Tales Told (short stories) E.L. Smith
The Collectors David Baldacci
Stone Cold (Camel Club) David Baldacci
Divine Justice (Camel Club) David Baldacci
The Whole Truth David Baldacci
Last Man Standing David Baldacci
The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie) Alex McCall Smith
The Weird Sisters Eleanor Brown
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Aimee Bender
The Cookbook Collector: A Novel Allegra Goodman
Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline
Heading Out to Wonderful Robert Goolrick
The Cornish Coast Murder John Bude
The Pieces We Keep Kristina McMorris
A Partial History of Lost Causes Jennifer Dubois
Desert Heat (Joanna Brady series) J. A. Jance
The Husband's Secret Liane Moriarty
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet David Mitchen
A Brewing Storm Richard Castle
Keeper of the Bride Tess Gerritsen
The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion
Started Early, Took My Dog Kate Atkinson
The Red House Mark Haddon
I Am Pilgrim Terry Hayes
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Rachel Joyce
The Hit David Baldacci
The Innocent David Baldacci
The Target David Baldacci
Looking for Me Beth Hoffman
Heat Wave Richard Castle
The Kashmir Shawl Rosie Thomas
Heat Rises Richard Castle
Naked Heat Richard Castle
Frozen Heat Richard Castle
31 Days to a Staged Home Leslie Hoyt
1Q84 Haruki Murakami
Deadly Heat Richard Castle
Three Wishes Liane Moriarty
The Long Way Home Louise Penny
A Year of Biblical Womanhood Rachel Held Evans
Grandma Gatewood's Walk Ben Montgomery
The Ladies' Room Carolyn Brown
The Land of Mango Sunsets Dorothea Benton Frank
Small Blessings Martha Woodroof
Color Your Style David Zyla
The Temporary Wife/Promise of Spring Mary Balogh
Some Luck Jane Smiley
A Christmas Bride/Beau Mary Balogh
To Dwell in Darkness Deborah Crombie
You Should Have Known Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Mephisto Club Tess Gerritsen
Vanish Tess Gerritsen
The Keepsake Tess Gerritsen
The Sinner Tess Gerritsen
The Paying Guests Sarah Waters
Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo
Reign of Error  Diane Ravitch
Life Support Tess Gerritsen
The Midwife Jolina Petersheim
The Outcast Jolina Petersheim
The Tidewater Sisters Lisa Wingate
Everything I Never Told You Celeste Ng
Gray Mountain John Grisham
Helen's Babies John Habberton
Faithful Place Tana French
Broken Harbor Tana French
Last to Die Tess Gerritsen
Girl Missing Tess Gerritsen
In Their Footsteps Tess Gerritsen
Where'd You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple
Station Eleven Emily St. John Mandel
Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty
Die Again (Rizzoli & Isles) Tess Gerritsen

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Forget-Me-Not Blue

These pretty hydrangea-print napkins and table runner caught my eye in a Sur la Table store, so when they went on sale, I ordered them.  (They also carry melamine dinnerware in this print, in both blue and green, if you're interested!)
When the order arrived, I decided the linens would be pretty with my Sophie Conran dishes in forget-me-not blue.  Villeroy and Boch's My Garden glasses added more blue, and the delphiniums my husband brought home from HEB last week were the perfect blue, even a few days past their prime.
 A diner's view. . .
 Closeup of one of the Arthur Court grape candlesticks, a long-ago gift from my in-laws
Closeup of the etched vase that my mother gave me from her collection.  Mama also has a tall pitcher in this pattern.  Please let me know if you know the name of the pattern!
View from the entryway
Delphiniums!
A simple summer table, but I do love the colors!

Thanks for stopping by!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wedding China

I've been looking forward to seeing all the links at Cuisine Kathleen this week, because she challenged us to show our wedding china.  I decided to show you ALL the wedding china chosen or inherited by my grandmothers, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law -- and, of course, MY wedding china! 

My very first tablescape post four years ago featured my Grandma Rachel's wedding china, Heinrich H&C's Admiral pattern, which I have inherited.  Grandma married in 1927 and was given 24 placesettings of this pretty pattern by her family and friends.  I treasure her handwritten list of all the pieces she owned and keep it in a locked box along with our marriage certificate and birth certificates.  Here's a closeup of the pattern from my recent Touch of Pink post.  I have found this pattern to be very versatile, using it with greens and golds, as well as pink.
My maternal grandmother did not have wedding china, to my knowledge.  She and my grandfather eloped!  I do remember her colorful everyday Fiestaware and wish I had inherited some of it.  I have fond memories of hearty breakfasts served on those dishes at her kitchen table.

My mother, who married in 1951 (and who with my dad will celebrate their 63rd anniversary this month!) has two pretty wedding china patterns, both from Castleton.  I've had fun playing with her dishes when I visit, going so far as to bring table linens with me on the plane!  I think both of her patterns look very fresh and modern.  Here is her Ma Lin pattern:
 And here is her Mayfair pattern:
My mother-in-law chose Haviland's Rosalinde as her wedding china, and now our daughter has inherited it.  We have enjoyed setting modern tables with this beautiful traditional pattern.
I married in 1972, and I chose a "good" china pattern, Lenox Windsong, along with crystal (Lenox Moonspun) and silver (Lunt Belvedere).  I still love this pattern and set my Easter table with it this year.  Below is an earlier table set with my wedding china, crystal, and silver.
I also chose an everyday pattern, Royal Doulton Fireglow.  I still own these dishes, but we no longer use them every day.  I do enjoy pulling them out occasionally, though!
As I mentioned earlier, our daughter inherited her grandmother's Rosalinde, but she chose an everyday pattern when she married in 2000.  I really love her Villeroy and Boch Switch 3 pattern.
Our daughter-in-law, who married our son in 2010, inherited a large collection of Johnson Brothers' Friendly Village from her grandmother.  When I went to help out after our granddaughter's birth, I enjoyed setting a Christmas table with this delightful pattern.
And there you have it -- four generations of wedding china!  It will be fun to see the china patterns my young granddaughters choose when they grow up!



Monday, April 7, 2014

Planning for Easter

This table is something of a dry run for Easter.  We may have as many as ten around the table this year, as our son and his family are moving to the Austin area the week before Easter.  I will finally have all my chicks in one state -- yay!

I knew I wanted to use the pretty Castleton Gloria china that my mother surprised me with two years ago.  You can read the story of that surprise here.  Gloria has a thin robin's egg blue band around the rim, so I pulled out these coordinating placemats, which were a gift from my sister.
I also wanted to use these cute dessert plates, as well as some pastel gingham napkins, all from Pier 1 this year. I added egg cups in colors to match the napkins and some paper mache eggs I've had for years.  Here's the pink version . . .
the lavender version . . .
the green version . . .
and the yellow version.  I was pleased with how well all the different pastels worked with the robin's egg blue. 
 For a simple centerpiece, I pulled out two nests and added robin's egg blue eggs.  (Is that redundant?)
For Easter dinner, I will remove the candles and add fresh flowers, more placesettings and real eggs in the egg cups as placecards.  And the grands might "need" a chocolate bunny at their places, don't you agree?
Thanks for stopping by!  I will be linking to the party at Cuisine Kathleen, so hop on over to see other tables featuring eggs, birds, and/or nests!






Monday, March 10, 2014

Thinking Green

I wanted to join the fifth annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl at Cuisine Kathleen this year, so I started by pulling out my vintage green glassware.  The water glasses originally belonged to my husband's grandparents, and for Christmas this year, my mother surprised me with the little "liquor cocktails" to match.  The pattern is by Anchor Hocking and is called either "Burple" or "Inspiration."  I love the deep emerald green.
For last year's St. Patrick's Day table I used the same glasses with my grandmother's wedding china, so I wanted to do something different this year.  I remembered some Williams-Sonoma salad plates with a green and gold pattern, so pulled those out.  I layered them on top of a plain white dinner plate and a larger gold ceramic plate.  I used plain white placemats and white napkins with a simple cutwork design and added our silver flatware.
For a little more green, I added a gold-trimmed green glass piece from my in-laws' collection.
For flowers, I found two small pots of yellow kalanchoes at HEB and decided they could be "pots of gold."  They were just starting to bloom in this photo.
Here's a "diner's view" across the table:
 Here's a view of the table set for four:
As the week went on, the kalanchoes opened up a bit more.
No shamrocks, leprechauns, or other traditional St. Patrick's Day elements on this table, but I hope all the green plus the pots of gold will qualify it for Kathleen's party!  Thank you for visiting my table this week!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Texas Independence Day!

There's a lot going on this week -- our son's birthday, Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday, but we can't forget Texas Independence Day on March 2nd.  What?  You don't celebrate that holiday?!  Well, I must confess that we didn't either until a few years ago.  As transplanted Texans, we didn't learn Texas history in school, so we were woefully ignorant of the fact that March 2nd marks both Texas' declaration of independence from Mexico (178 years ago) and Sam Houston's birthday.

But now we know, and so it was time to set a table honoring Texas.  This year I paired my Texas salad plates with some blue and white bordered plates in my collection.  
The little red star dishes and the Texas plates are from HEB, our grocery store, and the blue bandanna napkins were a gift from my Nashville sister.  The blue ribbed glasses were a gift from Marigene who blogs "In the Middle of Nowhere".  Aren't tablescaping friends the best?

For a centerpiece, I needed more red, so I bought some red gerbera daisies (again at HEB) and cut the stems short so I could use them in my pansy ring.
In the following photo, you can see over on the baker's rack the two Texas flags that my friend Michele, who blogs at Adventures in Thrifting, surprised me with this week. 
Here's a better view of the daisies.
I like the way the napkin's design goes with the blue bordered plate.
The daisies close up. . .
One more!
Thanks for stopping by!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch, so stop by to see other tablescapes.  I wonder if anyone else is celebrating Texas Independence Day!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Touch of Pink

Again this week, my table began with a glass -- pink this time.  I had admired these at Pottery Barn, so when they put them on sale in December, I ordered them.  At the time, I had no idea how I'd use them to set a table, as I have no pink dishes or table linens.  I just bought them because they were pretty!
I looked for pink placemats and napkins online, but apparently pink is out of vogue, because I didn't find any I liked. I decided to bring in more pink using flowers instead.  Here's a "diner's view" across the table -- white placemats and napkins, pink and white alstroemeria in short glass vases, Grandma Rachel's china, and our wedding silver.
I use these bud vase napkin rings, a gift from my daughter, all the time.  They are wonderful for bringing a little more color to the table.  Oops, that napkin could have used ironing!
Here's a view of the table, set for a lunch with friends.  Just enough pink for me!
Here's a closeup of Grandma Rachel's china -- it's the Admiral pattern by Heinrich H&C.  The little cluster of pink flowers is the only pink on any of my china patterns.  (I'm more of a blue girl.)  I think Grandma Rachel would be tickled to see me pairing her pretty vintage china with glasses from Pottery Barn!
The alstroemeria included the perfect shade of pink!  And 15 stems were just $7 at Sam's Club.
Another view. . .
Couldn't resist this closeup.  Those two central striped petals form a heart!
One more look at the placesetting.
Thank you for visiting!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.